Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Europe Pt. 4

Valencia, España

Well quite a bit has happened since I left Burgos. Sorry it has taken so long to post this. I will do my best to share everything that has happened from Wednesday until I left España. So sit back grab something to drink and prepare for fast trains, more random encounters, fascinating architecture, and amazing God stories!
Pedro is next to me on the right (mouth open)
    I left Burgos on Wednesday morning and began my journey toward Valencia, a Mediterranean costal city. After switching trains in Madrid I was aboard what would become the fastest land-moving vehicle I’ve ever been on in my life. Yes, we went from Madrid to Valencia at blistering 184 mph (300kph). On arrival an old friend from Mexico greeted me. Pedro, his sister Susy, and the rest of the family used to live in the same apartment complex with my family and I. They are a wonderfully unique family and only part of it is because they are Spanish Gypsies. I had the opportunity to build a friendship with Pedro in Mexico because of our mutual love of music and an occasional hankering for a game of pool. We shared the good news of Christ with him then, and though the seed was planted the reaping would happen later. Soon after he returned to España he gave his life to the Lord and is now ministering in a local church. His sister, who was baptized by my father, while in Mexico, proudly calls my mom and dad her spiritual parents. We had the opportunity to attend a church service the evening that I was there, and the Lord spoke some great things to me through a couple of the pastors and I left there with an overwhelming feeling of peace and the love of the Father. It was hard to leave Valencia, but believe the Lord is going to take me back there with purpose sometime in the future.
Sagrada Familia
     From Valencia I caught a bus to Barcelona, where I wasn’t really sure where I would be staying, but after seeing the “Sagrada Familia” and grabbing some dinner and wifi, I found a wonderful hostel on the southern side of the city. The next day was dedicated to exploring Barcelona, and it did not disappoint. I walked to the top of Montjüic, saw the Olympic village from the ’92 games, and the most magnificent view of the city that extends from the mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. It is quite a tourist town; it was often that I walked by American accents and many other languages unknown to me. I can see why though, it teems with beautiful architecture, great food, and people with style. 
 I had the great fortune of meeting a gentleman who stopped in for some Paella at the same local restaurant I did. Herbert Cartus is a music/theater instructor from Germany, loves traveling and I just happened to strike up a conversation with him while I was finishing my dinner. We got caught up in conversation that ended with us exchanging information and him graciously offering me a place to crash if I happen to visit Germany. This is possibly my favorite thing about traveling. These random people make it such a great experience if you’re willing to just step out and say hello.

Barcelona's Cathedral
     I wish I could say I got plenty of sleep before catching the 6:00am flight from Barcelona to Roma, but an hour is not a lot for anyone. Once again I had a great encounter because of Barcelona’s tricky bus system to the airport. This time it involved an Argentine gentleman about my age. We shared a taxi to the airport and ended up hanging out a bit before our flights went their separate ways. Thus my time in España concluded, and a new chapter in Italia was about to begin.

A view of Barcelona from Montjüic.

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